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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Things I suck at -- VOL 1: First person shooter games

We can't all be great at everything. But I come pretty close. I'd say I am at least passably good at just about every possible activity (I just don't really feel like showing you right now, is the thing) ... but there are a few glaring exceptions. I mean seriously, painfully glaring exceptions. It's time to face my weaknesses and lay them bare for all the world to see, because then I can claim to be humble and just send people links to blog posts as undeniable proof.

The first activity that I will openly admit to being absolutely terrible at? First person shooter games for X-Box or Playstation 2 and up.

I remember well the first time I tried to play Halo. I was in college, and a group of students was playing in someone's dorm room. I stopped by and they insisted that I take a turn, even though I told them over and over again that I didn't know how to play. But they wouldn't take no for an answer, so I was handed a controller and immediately saw a problem.

This was my first experience with a controller that had two joysticks I was required to use. Instead of my point of view just naturally looking whichever way I was walking (like in the best game ever, Goldeneye for Nintendo 64), I had to actually control whether I wanted to look up, down, right or left while walking in a complete different direction. The right joystick was for telling your character where to walk, and the left was for telling him where to look.

For me, this left-side joystick was harder to master than the French horn (which I hear is pretty hard -- I've never tried it -- but I bet I'd be super good at it right away). I was constantly, tragically, and comically unable to look in the same direction that I was walking. I would stumble blindly into corners and down staircases while aiming my gun at my own feet, the ceiling, or somewhere off in the distance. To my in-game enemies, I looked something like this:

Nobody puts Baby in the corner!!! Baby is perfectly capable of doing that herself.

So yeah, I died a lot. And quickly.

Eventually, I pieced together what a large part of my problem was: that I needed to go into the settings and choose "invert". It turns out that I spent so much time looking the wrong way because every time I tried to look down, I'd look up, and vice versa. So inverting the controls really helped a lot (I also have a 100% failure rate in properly operating car windows, for the exact same reason. Any brain scientists out there want to explain why that is, exactly??). 

With the inverted controls, at least I wasn't stumbling around like a blind idiot and was somewhat capable of moving and looking where I wanted to. Did this elevate me to the level of X-Box grand master?

F**king of course not.

No seriously -- f*** that f***ing game.

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  1. I was asked to play Call of Duty for the first time last week. Lets just say the controller almost lost its life bc I couldnt figure out how to move my guy. In the hourish I played, I got 3 kills...probably by pure accident. Im glad with staying as advanced as the N64 controllers.

    1. Aye, it turns out that in the game, as in real life, the best way for totally unskilled people to kill other people is with a good old-fashioned suicide bombing.

      The only X-box shooter game I eventually came to like was Perfect Dark -- the version of Perfect Dark where we got drunk, changed every weapon to rocket launchers, and then DUI'd fly-by-wire rockets all over the place, killing ourselves as often as we killed the bad guys. Now THAT'S how you play X-box!